Erik Goodwyn – Keynote

Emotion and Meaning Making Imagination: Jungian Approach

A survey of the literature on dream content, memory, and spontaneous thought reveals that there is one guiding feature behind them all: emotional significance. Emotion is the compass directing the imagination, which contributes significantly to all three. In this presentation, we will explore the way in which emotion utilizes the considerable imaginative powers toward an extremely important end: the construction of meaning through symbolic narratives. Using contemporary findings in dream content, memory, and research on spontaneous thought and applying them to Jungian theory, we will then learn ways to develop the art of interpreting such symbolic narratives in the consulting room.

Brief Biography

Dr. Goodwyn has authored numerous publications in the field of consciousness studies, Jungian psychology, neuroscience, mythology, philosophy, anthropology, and the psychology of religion. He is co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Jungian Studies, and his published books include:

  • The Neurobiology of the Gods: How the Brain Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams (Routledge, 2012)
  • A Psychological Reading of the Anglo-Saxon Poem Beowulf: Understanding Everything as Story (Mellen, 2014)
  • Healing Symbols in Psychotherapy: a Ritual Approach (Routledge, 2016),
  • Magical Consciousness, co-authored with anthropologist Susan Greenwood (Routledge, 2017),
  • Understanding Dreams and Other Spontaneous Images: the Invisible Storyteller (Routledge, 2018--winner of the 2019 International Association for Jungian Studies Book Award).

He has delivered over sixty lectures, workshops, and essays in peer-reviewed journals on the above topics and has presented at conferences on these topics at sites in the US, Switzerland, and Ireland.


© 2022–2023, Jung Institute